The Education, Training and Development Option for jobseekers
It is possible to take on a short course and retain your jobseeker’s payment.
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
If you are a jobseeker and thinking about improving some of your skills, there are options available to you that will allow you to go on a short course without losing your jobseeker’s payments.
The Education, Training and Development Option
The Education, Training and Development Option allows you to take on short-term courses of training, education or development while still keeping your jobseeker’s payment. Your Intreo centre may make special signing-on arrangements so that you can attend your chosen course.
How do I qualify for these courses?
To qualify for the Education, Training and Development Option and keep your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit you must be:
- At least 21 years of age or between 18 and 20 and out of the formal education system for at least two years
- Have been getting Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or signing on for unemployment credits for at least six months
What type of courses can I take with the Education, Training and Development Option?
The Education, Training and Development Option allows you to attend short courses, generally no longer than 10 weeks. For example, courses may be one-day courses, half-day courses for a number of weeks or evening courses.
You must be able to show that the course chosen will improve your chances of getting a job. Courses you can take part in include:
- Personal development courses
- General training courses
- Specific job skills courses
- Evening courses
The course must be approved by a case officer and should form part of your DSP Personal Progression Plan. You can arrange an appointment with a case officer by contacting your Intreo centre.
How do I find out more?
To find out about available courses and get advice on how to get a place on the course of your choice, you should contact your local ETB, school or college, public library or Citizens Information Service.
Payments during the Education, Training and Development Option
You will continue to get your weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit at your usual rate and any other secondary benefits. Secondary benefits may include:
- Fuel Allowance
- Rent Supplement. However, out of pocket expenses, may affect the amount of Rent Supplement you are getting.
If you have been signing on for unemployment credits, you will continue to get credits while you are participating your course.
How do I apply for the Education, Training and Development Option?
You can apply for the Education, Training and Development Option through your local Intreo office. Find the details of your local Intreo here.
What is involved in the application?
All applications for the Education, Training and Development Option are made through the Back to Education Allowance form (form BTE 1). You can learn how to fill out this form here.
You will be asked to provide information about your previous education and employment, as well as information about the course you want to apply for.
If you need help with your form or more information on this scheme, contact your local Intreo.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.